Sunday, April 05, 2009

Despite Threats of Smart Diplomacy and Fecklessness, North Korea Launches Rocket

The most frightening prospect they faced was Mrs. Clinton disrobing from her power pantsuit and airing it out in their general direction. Still they proved most reckless and launched anyway. No doubt such action will produce much finger-wagging, stern letter-writing and calls for more dialogue. Perhaps we can send more millions to them and beg them not to be naughty.
North Korea defied the United States, China and a series of United Nations resolutions by launching a rocket on Sunday that the country said was designed to propel a satellite into space, but that much of the world viewed as an effort to prove it is edging toward the capability to shoot a nuclear warhead on a longer-range missile.

North Korea launched the rocket at 11:30 a.m. local time, or 10:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, said the office of the South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak. Early reports from the Japanese prime minister’s office indicated that the three-stage rocket appeared to launch successfully, with the first stage falling into the Sea of Japan and the second stage into the Pacific. South Korea vowed a “stern and resolute” response to the North’s “reckless act.”

South Korean officials, after studying the rocket’s trajectory, said it appeared to have been configured to thrust a satellite into orbit, as the North had claimed.

No debris was reported to have fallen on Japanese land. There has been no confirmation of whether the third and final stage of the launching took place.

But what may have mattered most to North Korea was simply demonstrating that it had the ability to launch a multistage rocket that could travel thousands of miles.
Nobel Prize winner Jimmy Carter, who won a Nobel Prize for helping disarm the Norks, was unavailable for comment.

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